It's hard to believe that the Philadelphia Phillies Gay Community Night is already in its seventh year! But Larry Felzer has been working with the defending World Series champs since early 2003 building what is probably the most successful recurring gay outing at any pro sports event in the country. This year features lawyer and former college football player Brian Sims throwing out the opening pitch! He said in a statement (after the jump) that he's focusing on the pitch: Hopefully he'll best Baba Booey, but he couldn't possibly top the opening pitch from several years ago. Yeah, bring it Sims!
The event is Tuesday, Aug. 4 and the Phillies will be taking on the Colorado Rockies. Tickets are $30 and $24. Visit Phillygaydays.com or find more info after the jump.
This year marks the 7th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Phillies Annual Gay Community Night game, and the August 4th match-up against the Colorado Rockies is expected to draw upwards of 1000 members of the gay community and their friends and families for the evening.
The annual event, started by Larry Felzer and GALLOP (Gay & Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia) and the Philadelphia chapter of NLGJA (National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association), is one of the largest LGBT events in Major League Baseball and is a summer favorite at Citizens Bank Park.
For the last several years, Community Night has been a fundraiser for the Sean Halpin Memorial Scholarship Fund. Halpin, a well-known Philadelphia Attorney and who served on the boards of numerous LGBT organizations including the AIDS Law Project, Equality Advocates of Pennsylvania, and was a member of GALLOP, passed away suddenly in 2004.
"Sean Halpin was a huge Phillies fan and was present at the first and second Gay Community Nights," said Felzer. "He had tickets for the third year but sadly never made it." Felzer, who also founded the Halpin Scholarship added that he hopes the scholarship recipient "will honor Sean's memory by doing public interest or pro bono work after graduating."
The Phillies Community Partnership Program allows a member of a sponsoring group to throw out the opening pitch if they sell enough tickets, which Gay Community Night has done since its inception. Throwing out this year's opening pitch will be local LGBT advocate and attorney Brian Sims. Sims, this year's Chair of GALLOP, has received accolades recently for being the first and only openly gay college football captain.
"This is such a great opportunity for the LGBT community in and around Philadelphia to get together, relax, and enjoy a ball game with our friends and loved ones," said Sims. "Now it's just up to me to make sure I put some heat on that first pitch!"
While the game has not been a perennial winner for the Championship Phillies squad, having lost all but last year's game, this year the night promises to be a fun and full match-up, with the expectation of a sold out crowd!
For more info visit www.phillygaydays.com